KUCHING (Bernama) – Sarawak is taking Canada as its model in the management and governance of hydro dams and water usage because of the country’s strong and long experience in the areas concerned, said Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg.
Another factor, he said, was the level of autonomy of provinces in Canada, notably Quebec, from the Canadian central government, that would become a useful reference for Sarawak to determine its stance on issues involving state and federal relationship.
Abang Johari said these at the end of his study visit to the Province of Ontario in Canada. He and his delegation arrived in Toronto last Monday for a four-day visit.
The statement was issued by the Chief Minister’s Office yesterday.
The Chief Minister said the visit demonstrated to his delegation how water was treated as a precious commodity to generate economic returns for the country, particularly Ontario.
Abang Johari said he was particularly impressed with how various legislation had been introduced in the Ontario province to regulate the many uses of water, compared to Sarawak, which had practically none.
“The Ontario water legislation also provided a clear picture of what comes under federal and provincial jurisdiction in Canada in the governance of the extensive system of water bodies in the country, including the Great Lakes,” he said.
He pointed out that Ontario even had a special institution to conduct research on water, citing the Water Institute at the University of Waterloo near Toronto.
The Water Institute was among the various places of interest included in the Chief Minister’s itinerary in Ontario.
He capped his visit by visiting the Sir Adam Beck Hydro Power Station near the world famous Niagara falls on Wednesday.
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